Goalless point for Lambs in Wales
09 February 2010
Gary Mills Lambs travelled to The Racecourse Ground, Wrexham for the first time ever and with Nick Wright, Craig MacKenzie and Richard Tait all out injured he made just one change from Saturday with Lake-Gaskin coming in.
Despite the win over Stevenage at the weekend Mills was not getting carried away with his sides' excellent form over recent weeks knowing that anything could happen over the 90 minutes, but obviously hopeful of a continuation against Dean Saunders side having already beaten them 2-1 in the first month of the season with goals from Saturday's scorer Chris Smith and one from Jake Sheridan.
Danny Alcock too would be hoping for more of the same looking to extend his personal clean sheet record of 6 games 76 minutes stretching back to December 05.
Despite missing two games in the middle his record currently puts him second in the club personal clean sheet stats - beating Tony Rowe's consecutive 6 games + the minutes either side in the 96-97 season.
For the record: Dale Belford holds the club record for consecutive clean sheets with 7 games and the minutes either side (TBC) for games in the 88-89 season while Darren Acton holds the personal clean sheet record for exactly eight games in the 2002-03 season but missed one in the middle of the run.
With markings on the field from the recent rugby game held at the impressive and sizeable ground Wrexham kicked off proceedings with Tamworth in the blue away kit.
The home side started brightly with Holden flashing a shot high and wide of the mark from the left of the area inside the first minute but The Lambs soon had control of the ball with Blackwood looking for the run of Christie, but it was cut out and Wrexham cleared the throw in with Mills almost taking every kick from his position on the touch line.
Christie found some space on the left of the area to drive a shot at Russell who tipped the ball over the corner of bar and post on 4 for a Tamworth corner which was cleared by a hefty punch from Russell.
A prolonged spell of keep ball by the home side was only halted on 6 by a wayward pass but they got the ball back and Mangan hit a hopeful effort from distance which sailed into the seats in the stand behind Alcock's goal without troubling him.
A push by Chris Smith on Baynes set up Wrexham with a freekick left of centre 25 yards out on 9 and the same player struck a low shot through the wall but it skipped harmlessly wide of the mark.
A clash of heads left Chris Smith on the floor on 12 but he picked himself up and Alcock took the kick 20 yards from the half way line which Christie nodded on and it was put behind for another corner on the left. Shaw passed to Jay Smith and hit a right footed effort at goal but it curled slowly wide not threatening Russell.
Pritchard and Jay Smith combined to move forward on 15 but Spann was on hand to but out the chance and Wrexham pushed hard and quickly in the other direction resulting in a goal kick from Spann's wayward cross.
More good movement and forward play from the home side won them a corner on 18 which Baynes swung into the danger area and Assoumani met with a half volley but didn't get anywhere near the target with.
There was no one available for Sheridan to cross too on 21 and his ball into the box was easily dealt with allowing Wrexham to break free and despite the good skill in passing it forward their quality in the final third was lacking too giving Alcock a goal kick from a poor final ball.
A good ball from Spann into the box was cut out by Wylde on 22 as Mangan tried to get onto the end of it and although he tumbled it was more in hope than contact and the referee was having none of it.
Mangan did take a legitimate tumble a minute later following a high boot to the head and Spann could only find Chris Smith with his freekick. Wrexham tried to put the ball back in via Holden on the left wing but The Lambs defence held strong once again.
Yet more positive play from the home side had Tamworth doing everything they could to clear the danger and thankfully the final ball and shot from Spann went high into the roof of the stand behind the goal.
Pritchard tried to feed Christie with an incisive ball through the back four but the Lambs forward was offside by a few feet while at the other end Alcock found the pitch less than perfect and scuffed his kick in the dirt as Mangan closed down and the danger passed.
The pace of the game had not relented since kick off, especially from the home side, and when Holden was put into space on the left of the area on 28 Wylde was on hand to clear his low shot.
Having said that the pace did let us for a few minutes around the 35 minute mark with Tamworth coming into the game a bit more mainly by closing down the Wrexham moves and gaining more possession although they still struggles to make any real headway in the final third.
Christie strayed a yard offside when bursting onto a Wylde ball from defence over to the opposite 20 yard line on 38 and on 39 Spann tried a cross which span off Pritchard for a right sided flag kick.
Shaw headed clear twice and when Assoumani tried an audacious overhead kick Wylde was in his way.
Tamworth broke down the right wing but Fleming brought down Sheridan earning himself a booking and Shaw a deadball to fire into the box right footed which Briscoe headed on and out for a goalkick.
A fine diagonal ball from Shaw to Christie in the left corner ended when the latter gave a gentle nudge to McCluskey but The Lambs regained possession and Christie was fouled on the left for a Shaw freekick which came back to him only to see his return effort booted clear on 44.
Alcock fumbled a cross but his defence recovered to deny McCluskey and one minute added time was shown.
Wrexham then won a freekick on the right corner of the box which Holden curled towards goal forcing Alcock to tip over the bar at full stretch for a right sided corner. Briscoe intercepted the effort, Sheridan booted clear and the whistle blew on the first half.
Tamworth got the second half underway kicking toward the populated end of the ground but Wrexham soon gained possession and Bayned tried a pot shot which cannoned back into midfield.
Wylde landed awkwardly on his right foot and visibly felt a twinge but soon ran it off as the hgome side pushed forward again only to find the path through a decidedly difficult one.
Jay Smith almost found Pritchard on the edge of the area on 50 and as the defence cleared the ball ran to Shaw who won a corner which Wrexham worked out of danger.
Christie chased down a slow back pass forcing Russell to put the ball out of the ground over the main stand but from the throw Sheridan's cross swung out over the line behind the goal for a goal kick.
Dean Saunders made his first change on 52 and as The Lambs moved forward Pritchard nicked the ball through to the centre of box and Chris Smith hit a shot on the turn which went just wide and would have beaten Russell had it been a few feet to the left.
Another chance came on 55 when Blackwood fed Pritchard on the left of the box and although the Lambs midfielder was in space to shoot he was offside and the shot counted for nothing.
Wrexham squeezed the ball away after a great move into the opposition penalty box saw Christie almost get a shot away from close range on the left of the six yard box on 58 as Blackwood and Sheridan kept up the pressure down the left wing.
Pritchard received a talking to but no booking in the hour for a late challenge inside the Wrexham half and unlike the first half the play was happening more and more in the home side's half.
Blackwood got the better of Spann to fire a left footed show at Russell and as the keeper set Obeng free on the right and Shaw was booked for a reckless challenge.
Alcock strayed almost to the half way line to take a freekick after a foul on Blackwood and when Russell came out into the middle of the box Christie was adjudged to have fouled the keeper as he missed his catch.
Sheridan sent a low ball quickly into the area from the left on 66 which was too strong for Lake-Gaskin to get too as Westwood shepherded it out for a goal kick then a slip by Mangan and Chris Smith earned the Wrexham man a freekick as they both scrambled to recover the ball which Briscoes had already cleared and Baynes' dead ball was easy for Alcock to catch.
Jay Smith was booked for a lunge on Baynes on the halfway line on 68 and the pace of Spann denied Christie a run at goal shortly after down the left channel.
Russell came out to the edge of the area to smother the ball from the incoming Christie on 70 and immediately at the other end Blackwood concede a corner with a header at the far post from Williams' right wing cross which Shaw headed out but jay Smith fouled Holden 20 yards out, right of centre setting up a set piece for the home side. Mangan blasted it into the wall and Shaw headed behind the return ball for a left sided corner which was deflected behind for another on the same side on 72 as MacKenzie replaced Jay Smith. From the corner Shaw headed away and Baynes shot took a wicked deflection off the heels of Pritchard for another flag kick on the same side. The kick eventually came to nothing after two headed clearances and a wild high shot from Baynes from distance.
Murdock then replaced Lake-Gaskin in a 4-5-1 formation and when a Lambs freekick came to the edge of the area another was won for a foul on the edge of the D which saw all but Briscoe and Alcock in the final 25 yards of the field. MacKenzie struck the ball into the wall and then Mangan brought down Blackwood on the right hand side for Shaw to try his luck but the flag halted play.
With the game now well into the final 15 minutes Wrexham regained possession but yet again there was no way through resulting in a wayward long range effort from the right from Obeng which had to be collected from the old terracing behind Alcock's goal.
A freekick inside the centre circle on 82 allowed Blackwood to find the head of MacKenzie but his effort was easy for Russell and when Mangan made a run towards goal in the next move he found four defenders in his way.
Baynes did find some space to test Alcock with a low drive from 25 yards on 84 which the Lambs keeper dropped to deal with well and a golden chance fell to Mangan who put his shot from 20 yards over the bar when he really should have tested Alcock from the edge of the area after a clever back heel from Holden.
Assoumani picked up a booking for a challenge on Christie on the half way line on 89 and when Christie received the ball on the left of the box he got past the same defender rifled a shot into the box but it was blocked and cleared.
As three minutes added time was shown Wrexham made a second substitution and both sides continued to look for the decisive goal.
Christie was felled on the left wing by Obeng on 92 which earned him a yellow card and Tamworth won a corner from the dead ball.
With less than 30 seconds left MacKenzie took the corner short and kept possession by the corner flag earning a couple of throws to tick the seconds down to a goalless point which was booed by the home fans but applauded by the 57 visiting fans.
Alcock, Blackwood, Smith C, Wylde, Lake-Gaskin (Murdock 74), Pritchard, Sheridan, Shaw, Briscoe, Smith J (MacKenzie 72), Christie
Unused: Hurren, Fankem, Lyttle
Russell, Westwood, Assoumani, Williams, Fairhurst (Anoruo 90), Spann, Baynes, Fleming, McClusky (Obeng 52), Holden, Mangan
Subs: Maxwell (GK), Taylor, Wolfenden
Referee: D. S. Bond